Head injury led to seizure man’s death

A MAN who suffered seizures as he tried to quell his boozing habit, died as the result of a head injury, an inquest heard.

At an inquest into the death of unemployed Anthony Michael Wiggett, of Washington Avenue, Wombwell, coroner Christopher Dorries heard how the 29-year-old had had two apparent falls, a short time before his death on July 9 last year.

He had been trying to reduce his intake of three litres of cider a day, to two.

The first fall took place, it was thought, in the bathroom of a friend’s home at Wombwell, on the night of July 6.

After reading a statement from the friend, Dean Wassell, the coroner said he “could only surmise Mr Wiggett had had a seizure, because he came downstairs with a graze on his head, but couldn’t explain how he had got it”.

But Mr Wassell did experience his friend’s seizures, because he later took him to Barnsley Hospital, added the coroner.

In the early morning of July 8 Mr Wiggett suffered a seizure and fell off a hospital trolley, apparently banging his head on the floor.

Dr Clare Ginnis told how he regained consciousness without medication, and tests for nerve damage had appeared to be normal. She noted some ‘old’ grazes and a small, soft swelling on the right side of his head.

Several factors led to her decision not to perform a CT scan at that time, one being her patient’s rapid return to normality, the other that he had some history of seizures. Seizures can be common when someone is cutting down their alcohol intake, said the doctor.

“It is impossible to say for certain that was the fall that caused a fatal head injury, but it seems very likely”, said Mr Dorries, after hearing detailed medical evidence from two doctors and two nursing staff who were involved in the care of Mr Wiggett.

Sister Clare Ogley, of Barnsley District General Hospital, told how at 3.50am on July 8, Mr Wiggett was seen “sitting and talking” to nursing staff. Almost an hour later she saw him in a ward, lying across the base of his bed in a state that suggested a further seizure.

Mr Wiggett deteriorated, and was ventilated and given a CT scan. The decision was taken to transfer him to Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital and it was there that he died on July 9.

Recording a narrative verdict, the coroner said notes from Mr Wiggett’s GP revealed seizures dating back to February 2010. “It is clear he died as a result of a head injury”.